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3 Controversial Ways to Increase Your Facebook Live Conversions

Do you stink at pooping?

No, seriously!

Not only is this a physiologically valid question (as you'll soon learn), but it's also the subject of a massively successful viral advertisement that generated over $15 million in sales back in 2015 alone.

Here's the story…

The “Squatty Potty” company, makers of a toilet accessory for improving your “number two” posture, needed to get creative when promoting their product, which helps users achieve more satisfying results on a properly-equipped porcelain throne.

Funded largely through an appearance on Shark Tank, the bootstrapped company approached the Harmon Brothers' advertising agency to produce a lighthearted and informative sales video for the “Internet era.”

It's futile to describe; just take a look…

Whether you find it funny or in poor taste, you can't argue with the results this puerile toilet humor produced.

According to numbers reported by Adweek, this campaign…

  • Garnered over 66 million views on Facebook and YouTube (in 4 months)
  • Went certifiably viral (with 75% organic viewership)
  • Kept 70% of viewers watching all the way to the end of the video
  • Boosted online sales 600% and retail sales 400%

That's a smashing success by any reckoning!

And it goes to show how the Internet's truly the “wild west” of advertising.

In contrast, let's take a look at another scatologically-oriented ad spot…

This one's from one of America's iconic, yet recently fallen-on-hard-times retailers…

This non-stop series of double entendres also went viral, piling up tens-of-millions of views.

However, the response wasn't terribly welcoming or amused.

In fact, lots of consumers were offended and the evening news ran stories like, “has Kmart gone too far?”

Unfortunately sales dropped that quarter and they pulled the video from their social media channels.

And Kmart wasn't doing too well to start with, if you recall.

So what's the difference between Squatty Potty's and Kmart's ads?

Well, not much—from one perspective.

After all, they're both humorous, controversial, and performed well with the Millennial crowd.

But, from a brand standpoint…

Kmart's a family-oriented storefront, so as you can imagine, “ship my pants” was found offensive by much of their community-minded demographic.

Thus, Kmart experienced media fallout and hate mail from consumers from attempting this type of “edgy” marketing.

Squatty Potty, on the other hand, is obviously more congruent with toilet humor.

Obviously, offbeat ads work for offbeat products (which appeal to offbeat consumers).

This congruency, in “advertising vernacular,” is called a message to market match.

And this is critical for your marketing efforts.

In a moment we'll discuss 3 methods to appropriately use controversy to build trust and rapport, and dramatically increase your conversions—especially on a live presentation, such as Facebook Live.

But first…

Let's talk about how NOT to use controversy35957_blogbanner_092416_400x400-03

Because it can, obviously, soil your reputation.

{Looking at you, Kmart}

Okay, so question: does the idea of delivering your latest comedic routine at open mic night excite you?

For most people, the answer is absolutely not!

Because even though Squatty Potty pulled it off like a champ, humor isn't easy.

When executed well, it's a great rapport builder, which can make you “hip” and relatable.

But if you miss the mark, it's death to your sales.

There's no quicker way to alienate your audience than an off-color joke that doesn't land, so I'd recommend staying away from being controversial via humor, especially risqué humor.

So yeah, I did start this post with two ad examples I don't want you to follow, but what can I say, we're not in the business of exchanging a few laughs for attention and dollars.

There are a few other controversial topics we want to avoid, but we'll get to those later.

First let's dive into some recommended methods of ruffling a few feathers!

Your goal is to interrupt and agitate your audience

35957_blogbanner_092416_400x400-04It's no secret that controversy captures attention.

It's unexpected.

Much like the iconic “record scratch” sound effect, a little controversy shatters the monotony of a regularly-scheduled routine, and perks folks' ears right up.

And here's the sales secret to keep in mind…

Being lukewarm does not rouse people into action!

If you're too “milk toasty,” you're just going to create indifference.

That's bad.

Because people will tune you out without a second thought, whether you're marketing on the Internet or through offline methods.

Not good.

Because you know what makes people take action?


So if you want action…

Then you've got to “stir the pot” a bit…

And make your audience actually FEEL something.

A bit of controversy is great for creating such emotional tension.

I mean, think about it, what controversial topic doesn't get folks all hot n' bothered?

Think about it…

Whether it's politics, economics, religion, bioethics, or Jar Jar Binks…

Every thinking person's got strong opinions!

Okay, so to recap the process of inspiring action right quick…

  • First you capture attention
  • Then you agitate the emotions of your audience

That's what controversy has to offer when you're marketing on the Internet.

How to increase Facebook Live conversions through controversy…

If you're reading this, then you already know that there's no quicker way to connect with your audience and get them to take action than going live on their News Feed.

So let's dive into 3 ways to employ controversy to increase attendance, capture attention, and seriously boost your conversions.

These are all proven strategies, which minimize risks and maximize rewards of agitating your audience, while being relatively “safe” bets.

Let's begin with…


A “damaging admission” is pretty broad and can take a couple of different forms.

Here are two of my favorites…

a.) You can admit something “negative”

I've seen many marketers say things like…

If I'm honest, I used to build my business for selfish reasons, but now I want to help people.

This builds credibility and trust, all in one.

After all, who doesn't love a good redemption narrative?

This can also take the form of being vulnerable and admitting something you've done wrong…

When I first started, I used to spam the heck out of everyone on Facebook, but now I know better.

If you want your audience to feel something, you should go first.

Another tactic is this…

b.) You can be brutally honest about the shortcomings of whatever you're promoting

Now, this might seem like a great way to shoot yourself in the foot.

But such honesty creates a ton of trust because you're openly expressing the “negative” about what your offer cannot do.

This can be cleverly positioned, too.

This isn't for everyone!

Don't you want to know more when you see a statement like that?

Now, you can close the loop like this…

Hey, if you're looking for some get-rich-quick scheme where you sit on the couch and do nothing, this isn't for you. You actually have to work to be successful with our products and services. But if you're willing to put in the time and invest in yourself, then you can achieve x, y, and z.

Works like a charm!

Moving on…


Here's a window into human nature…

Pretty much everyone is convinced they're being lied to.

This is natural.

It's likely a product of the increasing level of of specialization in society—as it's really hard to know everything about the modern world.

There's a ton of knowledge that's inaccessible to you, me, and everyone else.

Therefore doctors are lying to you, lawyers are lying to you, scientists are lying to you, politicians most certainly are lying to you, the news is lying to you, Google and Facebook are spying on you, etc., etc.

And look, I'm not here to debate who is and isn't actually lying to you.

(Except in the case of politicians.)

In almost every instance above, we'll never know all the facts about what's what.

(Except in the case of politicians.)

After all, we're not hanging around the Oval Office, or sitting at the CEO of Monsanto's desk, or invited to private UN meetings, or sitting in at the World Economic Forum, etc., so who knows what's really going on, right?

You get the idea.

Now here's how you use these suspicions to your advantage…

Remember Kevin Trudeau?

How about his iconic series of infomercials…

  • Natural Cures “They” Don't Want You to Know About
  • The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don't Want You to Know About
  • Debt Cures “They” Don't Want You to Know About

Regardless of your opinion of the man or the products (which aren't our concern here)…

Those are KILLER titles with an amazing marketing angle, because they plays on these fears.

If you've been around the networking space even longer, you might recall the classic presentation…

  • Dead Doctors Don't Lie

It similarly achieved “cult” status back in the days of cassette tapes, using the exact same formula…

  1. You're being lied to
  2. It's not your fault
  3. Here's what you're not being told
  4. Now buy my sh*t! ;-)

So you can easily piggyback on this idea by confirming your audience's suspicions that they are somehow being “lied” to.

Here are a few example titles from our blog…

This type of content could easily be adapted into a Facebook Live.

I mean, don't you want to learn more when you read those titles?

Attacking the “old school” has a long history in attraction marketing, because it works.

Just keep it classy.

And whatever you do, don't name names (as there are legal repercussions).



This one's easy and effective.

It creates a pattern interrupt and makes folks pay attention.

And you can do it with just about anything.

Here's an example:

You probably think that getting traffic is hard. Well, guess what, it isn't. In fact, if you give me 4 minutes to explain, I'll show you how to get traffic today! It's so easy your grandma could do it.

Make sense?

Now, let's do the converse:

You've probably heard from some “guru” trying to sell you something that getting traffic is easy. Well, guess what, I'm here to tell you it's NOT. First of all, you've got to know how to find a responsive audience. Secondly, you've got to know how to write compelling ad-copy. And thirdly, you've got to suffer through the learning curve of whatever traffic platform you choose. You know what all that adds up to? A giant headache. So instead…

See how that works?

Both of my statements are true—from a certain perspective—yet they are contradictory.

You can use this technique with anything.

Any market.

Any niche.

In fact, a brainstorming exercise is write out a list of commonly-held beliefs in one column, and how you intended to “spin” them in the other.

So what has your audience heard over and over?

  • It's “sharing not selling”
  • Everyone is your prospect
  • It's a ground floor opportunity
  • Anyone and everyone can do this
  • It practically sells itself
  • This is the greatest product ever
  • You just need more belief
  • You're in business for yourself, but not by yourself

Easily skewered, right?

Okay, so quick recap…

Here are the 3 controversial ways to capture attention and increase your Facebook Live conversions…

  • Make a damaging admission
  • Confirm your audience's suspicions
  • Contradict commonly-held beliefs

Those should get you stirring up some controversy, so you can get your prospects to reach out to learn more.

Because that's what this is all about, right?

Now, of course…

You simply can’t learn all the ins-and-outs of promoting your network marketing business on social media from a single blog post.

It's a big topic, after all.

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Andrew Draughon
Director of Content
Elite Marketing Pro


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